More often than not people are too scared to touch their own face or to even attempt to remove blackheads themselves. That is why people often search for professional blackhead removal. However it is unnecessary to be scared to try and remove blackheads yourself. The chance of you damaging your skin permanently or developing scars is incredibly small.
More often than not, squeezing blackheads or doing any kind of skin-treatment has more to do with using common sense rather than actual skill. Think about it. If you have to squeeze your skin so hard your eyes start to water, are you doing damage to your skin?
Unfortunately people who have a thicker skin (dermis) will more likely have the need to see professional help than others. However a lot can be done even before you need to seek professional blackhead removal. Below is an overview of the steps a professional takes to prevent blackheads.
Step 1: Eating right
Probably most of you would’ve thought I would have started with “setting up a routine” or “products that get rid of blackheads”.
By far the easiest thing you can do for you and your skin is eating right. And by eating right I mean eating nutritious foods. Leave out the simple carbs, leave out some dairy and go green and lean.
Two simple terms to live by. Lean and green. Lean meat protein and green leafy vegetables are THE staple to get a blackhead free skin.
Eating simple carbs triggers a response in your body that increases the insulin levels in your blood. Basically simple carbs are sugar. Your body looooves sugar. So much so that it wants to keep hold of every little grain it can get a hold of. Your body does this by upping the insulin levels in the blood. Insulin converts the sugar into fats, which are then stored in areas you never wanted it to be in in the first place.
Another thing insulin does is increase cell growth. As it is a type of growth hormone, insulin rapidly stimulates cell growth. As we all know, blackheads are caused by a buildup of oil and dead skin cells in the pores. What happens when skin cells all of a sudden decide to start growing? You guessed it, a lot of them die off and end up laying on your skin. Now if you don’t wash these away or scrub them away, they’ll start blocking pores in no times. Turning your skin into blackhead central in no-time.
Dairy has a similar effect.
The funny thing is that dairy has been genetically perfected by nature to be THE food source of choice for baby calves. Unfortunately very few of us are baby calves. As a result the hormones in the milk, meant to make the calves grow, end up in our system. A similar effect happens as described above. The hormones stimulate the cells in our body to divide, causing a build up of dead skin cells on our skin. As a result, if you don’t cleanse properly, you will need to seek professional blackhead removal in due time.
Step 2: Get your routine straight
Another way to prevent having to reach out to professionals is to get your routine straight. Be firm with yourself and start a daily ritual. Make sure that before you go to bed your skin is absolutely spotless. Make sure all make up is completely washed off.
Not because make up causes blackheads, rather because make up left on the skin is indicative of skin patches that have not been thoroughly cleaned. As a result there could still be some dead skin cells lingering under the make up that could oh-so easily fall into a pore. Making you wake up with a zit the next morning.
So make sure all make up is washed off thoroughly.
Also use lukewarm water when you do this. Too warm water or too cold water could do some serious damage to your skin, especially if you have a sensitive skin type! The damage i am talking about is just that your skin would try to overproduce skin cells again as a reaction to the cold/hot water. As a result your chance of developing blackheads would increase dramatically. NOT what we want!
Steam it up!
In order to make things easier for you as you treat your skin you might want to steam your face first. You can either use a facial steamer which is used in professional blackhead removal, or then you could wrap a hot towel around your face for a similar, yet not as good, effect.
The steam makes the skin looser and more susceptible to the treatment. This helps prevent any lasting damage to your skin and makes sure that extraction remains a pleasurable experience. It does NOT open pores as you might read on some websites. Contrary to popular belief, pores cannot open or close on demand. They aren’t muscles. They can however get more loose or constrict. Lemon juice for example is known to have astringents, which tend to have a closing effect on pores.
The steam helps you make it easier on yourself as you continue your routine. So I highly recommend you incorporate it in your ritual. Your skin’ll thank me :)!
After that that, it’s time for cleansing!
One of the favorite parts of any ritual is the cleansing.
There is a lot of confusion over what type of cleanser to use. However I’ll make it simple. If you have oily skin, use a BHA cleanser. If you have any other skin type, an AHA cleanser will be just the right type for you.
How can I tell if I have oily skin I hear you ask? Well.. If you look in the mirror on a normal day and your skin is glowing, you have oily skin. Also you’ll be very much aware of how much more acne- and blackhead prone you are.
A BHA cleanser has as its active working ingredient salicylic acid. It’s an acid that is extracted from the common willow tree. It also just happens to be the active ingredient in the common aspirin. As a result you could trust the professionals and by this BHA cleanser, which is used in professional blackhead removal. Or you could try and make your own aspirin mask.
Aspirin mask recipe:
The recipe is stupidly easy. All you need are 5-7 aspirin pills that do not have a coating and some bottled water. Mix them in a bowl until you form a paste. If the paste is too thick, add water, if too thin, add a pill. Make sure though not to add more than 7 pills. If you have to, start a new batch just to be safe and throw the old one away.
Then let this paste sit on your skin for a few minutes before washing it off again with lukewarm water.
To aid in the cleansing you could be interested in using a cleanser AND a face cleansing brush such as this one.
Step 3: Get your squeeze on
Now comes the part you have been waiting for! In professional blackhead removal we usually use a plethora of tools but they really boil down to a blackhead extractor tool, or then a microdermabrasion kit.
A comedo extraction tool, or blackhead extraction tool, looks like a scoop in my opinion. It has a lengthy handle, and at both ends a loop. This loop is used to extract blackheads. The way to do this is by first of all choosing the right tool for the job. If you have a monster of a blackhead on your chin, you’ll need a bigger loop!
So select the right sized loop for the right sized blackhead and place the loop over the blackhead. Then with a motion as you’d be scooping ice-cream, apply pressure to the side of the blackhead. Without too much effort the blackhead should come out.
This is now the part they try to scare you with in professional blackhead removal. However this is nothing to be scared of. Use common sense. If it hurts too much to squeeze out a blackhead, leave it be and let a professional take care of it. However if you are one of the lucky ones who can almost “scratch out” their blackheads, a tool as this can cause no harm.
Secondly professionals tend to use a microdermabrasion tool as well when visiting a dermatologist. This device benefits you in two ways.
First of all you’ll look 10 years younger. The diamond head rubs back and forth over your skin gently exfoliating it. At the same time there is a suction device that is sucking up the dead skin cell layer that comes off you. This prevents it from lingering on the skin and gives you a clean look.
Which brings us to benefit number two: No blackheads! As you exfoliate and suck the skin away immediately, there is no risk of pores getting clogged up. After microdermabrasion the dead skin cell layer is no longer present, which means the chances of you developing new blackheads are pretty much zero!
Step 4: Toner, toner, toner
Just like a kid hates it when you put some iodine on a scratch, you won’t necessarily love using toners either. However this wonderful substance both eliminates bacteria and helps prevent zits. Any bacteria that might still be on your skin after the microdermabrasion or after the squeeze will be wiped away with toner. This disinfecting wonder potion is the last step in your routine.
When squeezing the blackheads using an extractor tool there is always the chance some of the gunk still ends up on your skin. Using a toner is the last step before you go to bed to make sure you wake up blemish free.
If after this you still need professional blackhead removal…
then the best place to turn to would be to visit your local dermatologist. If he/she is a good one they’ll assess your needs before recommending you an unnecessary expensive treatment. If you follow the steps I have listed above, chances are you’ll save out on the need to go visit one!